The Seven Sisters

Alex Wheatle

An urgent, devastating novel of childhood and escape. The story of four boys’ attempt to deal with growing up and overcome the past.

Glenroy, Bullett, Curvis and Carlton – the best of friends, as tight as blood brothers. They all live in Pinewood Oaks, a home for orphans and children in care, besides the great forest named after the legend of the Seven Sisters.

At the home they are looked after by ‘Uncles’ and ‘Aunts’, go to the local school and try to live like normal children. But, of course, they’re not.

When the four decide to run away from the home they head to the neighbouring forest. Freedom comes like a rush – away from the overbearing eye of authority; for the first time, they feel the exhilaration of adolescence. They are able, for the first time, to dream their future.

Yet the forest slowly asserts its own power as the story of the Seven Sisters impact on the four. Finally, the past collides with the present and forces them to face the brutal truths of their lives, the cruel theft of innocence and drives them to a final act that destroys their childhood for ever.

In The Seven Sisters, award-winning author Alex Wheatle unveils a shocking portrait of how a society treats its children. Like ‘Lord of the Flies’ and ‘Once in a House on Fire’, the stains of childhood have dramatic effects, as Carlton, Bullet, Glenroy and Curvis finally have to deal with the past.

Reviews of The Seven Sisters

    • ‘With a friendship of unspoken confidences remaining the focus, the four boys negotiate a mutual search for understanding and freedom. The narrative is strong and meaningful.’ Vanessa Smith Holburn, Independent on Sunday
    • • ‘Wheatle’s picture of childhood in a care home evokes the trauma and the tenderness between four friends, as well as brilliantly recreating a lost era. ‘The Seven Sisters’ is subtle, moving, and written with real moral and artistic purpose.’ Ben Richards
    • • ‘A gripping,horrifying and moving adventure story about children brought up without parents, trying to survive on the run.’ Maggie Gee
    • • ‘A brave, brutal story told with a shocking immediacy’ Daily Mail